SRINAGAR: The Centre will be taking several development measures for the newly created Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh from January next year, official sources have said. Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant-Governor Girish Chandra Murmu indicated the same when he said that the process of holding Assembly elections will soon begin.

According to official sources, the Centre wants to begin the New Year with new policies and programmes. A corruption-free administration and more transparency in the system would be introduced in the coming two months. These measures are intended to ensure that all benefits reach the people of J&K.

The village programme, which was started by former J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik, would be restarted in Union Territory J&K and its second phase would also start soon. The focus, according to official sources, would be to ensure that all the Central schemes for the rural areas are started without any delay in the coming few weeks.

Murmu, in his first public speech as J&K L-G, said that Assembly elections would be held and the process for the same would be started soon. This public speech came at a time when the Centre is mulling to release three former chief ministers Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti. Meanwhile, Murmu said that the present administrative arrangements in the UT were temporary. He also said that the J&K police will have to play a crucial role for the upcoming Assembly elections.

Last week, Ghulam Nabi Azad, former Chief Minister and leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, was allowed to go the Chenab Valley, his home town Bhaderwah and other areas to have a public contact programme. However, the authorities had said that it was not a political outreach by Azad. He was permitted to visit the area after he had been earlier sent back from Srinagar airport when he had tried to enter Kashmir during the initial restrictions.

Meanwhile, National Conference leaders in the Jammu region said that they are awaiting the release of Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and other leaders before they take any decision regarding the upcoming Assembly elections in J&K UT.

In the present situation, besides the BJP, none of the mainstream political parties are showing any inclination to participate in the upcoming polls as they are demanding restoration of statehood status for Jammu & Kashmir. However, the Centre has clearly said that statehood would be given back to the present J&K UT, but without Ladakh.


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